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Painted Turtle’s Shell Reattached With Epoxy And Zip Ties

A painted turtle (Chrysemys picta ssp. and C. dorsalis) that was hit by a car gets a second lease on life as the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center a

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A painted turtle (Chrysemys picta ssp. and C. dorsalis) that was hit by a car gets a second lease on life as the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at the Wisconsin Humane Society has taken her in and has repaired her shell. Gertie, as she is called, came in with a shattered shell and probably would have died quickly if not for some quick action from the center’s director, Scott Diehl. Gertie’s wounds were cleaned and then her shell was attached with the help of some cable tie mounts and epoxy glue. The mounts were glued onto her shell and outfitted with zip ties to help put the shell back together as close as possible. The zip ties were slowly tightened until the shell pieces are connected again. 


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This type of surgery is less invasive than other types, Diehl told the Huffington Post, which involve drilling into the shell and passing wire through the holes. 

Gertie is in a small enclosure now and will be moved to a larger enclosure as she heals, and then eventually will be released back into the wild, hopefully in August. 

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Painted turtles are popular in the pet trade and are widely captive bred. There are four types of painted turtles. the eastern painted turtle (Chrysemys picta picta), the midland painted turtle (C. p. marginata), the western painted turtle (C. p. bellii) and the southern painted turtle (C. dorsalis). They can be found across the United States, from Canada to Northern Mexico. 


John B. Virata keeps a western hognose snake, a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata